Multiple projects adding to the housing stock in and around downtown Sarasota are making they way through the city’s Development Review Committee.
At its March 15 meeting, the DRC, comprising representatives of multiple city departments that regulate development, made suggestions and identified requirements for projects that would bring to the city 276 apartments and condos ranging from affordable to luxury.
The DRC collectively advises developers on regulatory specifics regarding projects in order for them to receive final sign-off. Some are approved administratively while others will go before the Planning Board and/or City Commission for final approval.
780 SRQ Condominiums
A resubmittal, the five-story, 34-unit building is planned for a 0.67-acre site on the north side of Fruitville Road between Central and Cocoanut avenues. The project will include ground-level parking with vehicle access from a public alley.
The parcel is located within the Rosemary Residential Overlay District and will include two attainable units, which with a bonus density will allow 34 units, eight more than the by-right 26. The remaining 32 units will be priced at market rate.
A rendering shows a second-floor fitness center overlooking a required 10% open urban green space, which by code will be open to the public during the day and locked overnight. The top floor shows extended ceiling heights in exterior and interior spaces.
With partial DRC sign-off, the project will not have to undergo another resubmittal. The DRC has final authority over the project.
Sarasota Veterans Housing
A new submittal, the Society of St. Vincent De Paul of Pinellas County is proposing a 10-unit low-income apartment development to house veterans at 1529 25th St. in the Commercial Business Newtown zoning district. The two-story building on a 0.43-acre site will have five units on each of the two floors and an on-site laundry facility. With multiple matters remaining to address, the project will be required to resubmit.
A concept conceived in 2016, Sarasota Station, a 393-unit affordable housing development with at least 20% of units priced at or below 80% of the area median income is a resubmittal.
Proposed by Sarasota-based, affordable-housing developer One Stop Housing, the project recently was granted a three-year extension by the City Commission to pull its first building permit.
Planning is currently underway for the first phase of the project, which will include 201 residential units.
The site sits on 7.8 acres with an address of 2211 Fruitville Road, although it is located a block north of Fruitville Road. Currently on the site are a call center for Vengroff Williams Inc. and a diner, Bob’s Train, housed in a rail car. The rail car and restaurant will remain. The call center will eventually be demolished for the second phase of the development.
The resubmittal cleared up a handful of remaining issues and received partial sign-off by the DRC. All remaining issues will be handled individually with appropriate departments. The DRC has final approval authority over the project.
625 Golden Gate Point
A resubmittal, 625 Golden Gate Point is proposed as a 12-unit residential condominium building. The 0.5-acre site currently has two multifamily structures that will be demolished. The project does not include an attainable housing element.
The plan shows a nine-story building with parking on the first level. The developer held a community meeting with Golden Gate Point residents, and consultant Joel Freedman reported widespread support of the plan. That was confirmed by a letter from the Golden Gate Point Association and Development Review Senior Planner Tom Sacharski, who reported receiving multiple emails in support of the project.
Only minor issues remain and the project received partial sign-off and will not be subject to resubmission.
Andrew Warfield is the Sarasota Observer city reporter. He is a four-decade veteran of print media. A Florida native, he has spent most of his career in the Carolinas as a writer and editor, nearly a decade as co-founder and editor of a community newspaper in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.